Air NZ cancels flights over next few weeks after engine recalls

Air New Zealand is cancelling and delaying some international flights over coming weeks after having engine trouble.

On Tuesday, an Air NZ flight bound for Narita, Tokyo was redirected back to Auckland after only reaching the top of the North Island.

The plane returned to Auckland after experiencing an issue with one of its engines, which the captain elected to shut down as a precaution.

Yesterday, an Air NZ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flight from Auckland to Buenos Aires has spent less than two hours in the air before returning to Auckland International Airport as a precaution, due to "a possible engineering issue.”

Both airlines use the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, which is fitted to Air NZ’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet. 

The national carrier announced this afternoon that because of these engine events, there will be international flight cancellations and delays each day over coming weeks.

Rolls Royce has informed Air NZ some of its engines on the Boeing 787-9 fleet will require maintenance sooner than previously thought, and that it does not have any spare engines available while that maintenance work is undertaken.

Asked what the problem with the engines is and how many engines are being recalled, a spokeswoman replied: “Air New Zealand is working closely with Rolls-Royce.  Any questions about the performance of this engine should be referred to Rolls-Royce as the manufacturer of this engine.”

She did not respond to questions on how much the cancellations and delayed flights would cost Air NZ.

However, Air NZ general counsel Karen Clayton says at this stage, the company does not anticipate any change to earnings guidance.

The airline’s pre-tax earnings dropped 21% to $527 million in the year to June 30, still its second highest-yet. The airline aimed to improve on 2017 earnings for 2018.

Air NZ has published the following schedule changes so far, due to the engine troubles:

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